Photo: Lloyd's Register

Seaplace secures LR’s AiP for floating wind ballast system

Classification society Lloyd’s Register (LR) has issued an approval in principle (AiP) to Spanish engineering company Seaplace for an active ballast control system designed specifically for the company’s floating offshore wind platform concept, CROWN.

Seaplace’s system, designed to work with different types of floating wind platforms, was first tested with software-in-the-loop tests and then with scale model tests performed at the IH Cantabria Offshore basin, according to the company.

Courtesy of: Lloyd’s Register

The new technology, developed in cooperation with German engineering company Sowento and the University of Stuttgart as part of the CROWN project, includes buoy and reduced-draft spar operational concepts, and is claimed to cut capex costs of floating wind power generation.

Mark Darley, LR Marine & Offshore Director, commented that “this … technology could help operators and their floating wind assets reach their market potential, with estimates of up to 10GW of capacity projected to be installed globally by 2030 and more than 100 GW by 2050.” 

The active ballast control system is deployed to ballast/de-ballast the platform, changing the floater from its transport draft to its operational draft, and vice versa.

It can also be used to partially or fully compensate the tilt produced by the wind loads in order to improve the stability of floating offshore wind platforms, as stated by the company.

In addition, its software allows for remote manual operation, semi-automatic control and automatic operation. 

The new ballast technology, which can be used to stabilise the platform if a compartment is damaged or one of the components (valve or pump) fails, follows the CROWN project’s aim to reduce wave- and wind-induced motion of the floating platform.

The floater platform technology has been designed to optimise manufacturing, enabling the production of one unit per week. 

Seaplace anticipates the floater concept will be able to host not only large wind turbines, but also hydrogen/ammonia systems and solar panels, all at once without impacting the unit stability.  

The AiP follows a statement of feasibility issued by DNV in March and now the companies are planning to move forward with the full-size demonstration concept.  

According to DNV GL report issued last December, floating wind will account for 2 per cent of the world’s power supply by 2050 and its cost will drop some 70 per cent by that time.

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